Nottinghamshire Police have launched a murder inquiry into the deaths of William and his wife Patricia Wycherley, after their remains were found in the back of a garden.
Police named the victims as Mr Wycherley, who would now be 100, and his wife Patricia, 79.
Their bodies were uncovered by officers who were led to the semi-detached house in Mansfield last week after a tip-off.
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The couple moved in to the two-bedroom property at 2 Blenheim Close, Forest Town, in 1987, but vanished after 1998.
Post-mortem tests have been carried out on the bodies but have so far proved inconclusive.
Speaking at a press briefing in Nottingham today, Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin said: "Whilst it's difficult to ascertain cause of death given the passage of time, the circumstances in which the skeletal remains have been found is suspicious and we have now launched a murder inquiry."
He added: "Insofar as suspects are concerned we are entirely open-minded but it's far too early in the investigation to be talking about suspects at this stage.
"The focus of the investigation is on the Wycherleys themselves and the goings on at 2 Blenheim Close back in the 1990s."